Hepatic steatosis is one of the histopathologic features of chronic hepatitis C.
It has recently been reported that the expression of hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein in mice induced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in association with steatosis.
In this study, researchers from Japan determined the relation between hepatic steatosis and hepatocarcinogenesis in patients with chronic HCV infection.
The team assessed 161 patients with chronic HCV infection diagnosed at Nagasaki University Hospital, Nagasaki, Japan, between 1980 and 1999.
They evaluated a range of variables, and assessed their significance in the development of HCC. These included age, gender, body mass index (BMI), habitual drinking, diabetes mellitus, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level, HCV serotype, serum level of HCV core protein, interferon (IFN) treatment, hepatic fibrosis inflammation, and hepatic steatosis.
The researchers found that the cumulative incidence rates of HCC were 24%, 51%, and 63% at 5 years, 10 years, and 15 years, respectively.
|Hepatic steatosis, aging, cirrhosis, and no interferon treatment were risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma.|
They identified hepatic steatosis, aging, cirrhosis, and no IFN treatment, as risk factors for HCC.
They also found that hepatic steatosis was correlated with BMI, serum ALT levels, and triglyceride levels.
Dr Kazuyuki Ohata’s team concluded, “The findings of the current study indicate that hepatic steatosis is a risk factor for HCC in patients with chronic HCV infection”.
“Patients with chronic HCV and hepatic steatosis should be monitored carefully for HCC”.